BREAKING: Prime Minister Announces Covid Case In The Auckland Community

Publish Date
Tuesday, 11 August 2020, 9:31PM

The Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, and director general of health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, held a press conference in the Beehive announcing the first cases of Coronavirus in the community after 102 days.

Four cases are positive all contained within one family.

More than one workplace is involved

A man in his 50s in the Auckland region tested positive for Covid-19 after two swab tests and has no history of overseas travel.

Six other people were in his family, and three of them have tested positive. The other three tested negative.

From noon August 12th. Auckland will be moving to level 3 for three days. Aucklanders will be asked to work from home 

The rest of the country is to go into level 2 during the same time period

Close contacts have been isolated for 14 days regardless of their test results. Casual contacts are also being isolated and cannot leave until they test negative.

More questions needed to be answered, Ardern said, including tracing the case to its source.

Without knowing that, a precautionary approach was needed, she said.

"There is no immediate link we have found, as yet to a managed isolation facility, and there is no connection to a high risk person, such as those who work at the border."

Today had marked 102 days without transmission in the community.

Workers at the border are also being tested.

Bloomfield said additional testing will be available around the country to expect the expected increase in demand. People with any symptoms should get tested, he said, whether they are in Auckland or not.

More staff will be placed at testing centres in Auckland, Waitemata and Counties Manukau and they were prepared to test more people.

There are testing sites at Northcote, Henderson, Grafton and Wiri. There will be more pop-up testing sites.

He said community transmission was inevitable as it was a tricky virus, and it was important now to "stamp it out".

"There are things every New Zealander needs to do."

Those included hand hygiene, coughing into your elbow, staying a home if sick, and seeking advice from doctors or Healthline is you have symptoms.

He encouraged people to wear masks in places where it was hard to be physically distant.

He urged people to use the Covid tracer app.

"Finally our contact tracing team will of course be in contact with anyone who may be identified as a casual or close contact."

If contacted, please return the call, he said.

The cases were a "wake up call" against complacency.

"We have done this before and we can do it again."

Bloomfield said it was more relevant than ever to get tested if offered a test.

Ardern said the resurgence plan had been activated, based on what had happened overseas.





Previous rules for alert levels

Alert Level 4 — Lockdown

Likely that the disease is not contained and community transmission is occurring.

• Range of measures that can be applied locally or nationally

• People instructed to stay at home in their bubble other than for essential personal movement.

• Safe recreational activity is allowed in the local area.

• Travel is severely limited.

• All gatherings cancelled and all public venues closed.

• Businesses closed except for essential services, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics, petrol stations and lifeline utilities.

• Educational facilities closed.

• Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities possible.

• Reprioritisation of healthcare services.

 

Alert Level 3 — Restrict

Community transmission might be happening.

• Range of measures that can be applied locally or nationally.

• People instructed to stay home in their bubble other than for essential personal movement — including to go to work, school if they have to or for local recreation.

• Physical distancing of 2 metres outside home including on public transport, or 1 metre in controlled environments like schools and workplaces.

• Bubbles must stay within their immediate household bubble but can expand this to reconnect with close family/whānau, or bring in caregivers or support isolated people. This extended bubble should remain exclusive.

 

• Schools between years 1 to 10 and Early Childhood Education centres can safely open but will have limited capacity. Children should learn at home if possible.

• People must work from home unless that is not possible.

• Businesses can open premises, but cannot physically interact with customers.

• Low-risk local recreation activities are allowed.

• Public venues are closed. This includes libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, playgrounds, markets.

• Gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed but only for wedding services, funerals and tangihanga. Physical distancing and public health measures must be maintained.

 

• Healthcare services use virtual, non-contact consultations where possible.

• Inter-regional travel is highly limited to, for example, essential workers, with limited exemptions for others.

• People at high risk of severe illness such as older people and those with existing medical conditions are encouraged to stay at home where possible, and take additional precautions when leaving home. They may choose to work.